By now, you’ve likely decided that your email marketing strategy needs campaign automation. After all, in 2018 great email marketing is about more than blasting your subscribers with promotional offers. And we’ve got the statistics to back that claim up: relevant emails are responsible for driving 18 times more revenue than broadcast emails.
Building a successful email marketing strategy is about understanding your customers and getting in touch with them when and where they are ready to take action. It’s about nurturing your customer relationships, getting to know them and serving them content that adds value. And automated campaigns can help marketers to achieve all of these goals.
Start with the Low Hanging Fruit
If you are brand new to email automation, there are a few emails you can set up with the help of your email platform today. These include transactional emails (order confirmations, shipment notifications, etc.) abandoned cart emails (a note that goes to customers who never quite make it to checkout) and a welcome email to new subscribers. Once you’ve got these basics covered, you can start to get creative with the data you have and build some highly engaging emails.
Build Brand Trust with a Nurturing Series
You’ve successfully gotten a new name on your email list either by offering a discount, hosting a giveaway, or using a piece of high-value content in exchange for your prospect’s contact information. They have received your welcome email, but haven’t yet converted. This is the hard part. This customer is still getting to know your brand and what you’re all about.
It takes time to build trust, so develop an email series (2-4 emails that are triggered by the previous one) that takes the next steps to bring customers into your world, to engage them and earn their trust. These campaigns aren’t about selling, but should primarily aim to add value.
This might seem like a lot of effort, but when brands nurture subscribers, they get 50% more sales-ready customers and subscribers who have been nurtured make 47% larger purchases.
Ideas for Nurturing Content:
- Share the inspiration behind your product/collection
- Show how your products work
- Create or curate content about a related topic (mattresses = sleep)
- Tell another customer’s story
- Tell your brand story
- Share your charitable giving projects
Tips for creating nurture series:
- Don’t Sell
- Aim to inform, educate, inspire or entertain
- Keep your eye on the big picture, your series needs to tell a complete story
- Let the reader know what you’re going to send them in the first email
- Space out delivery over several weeks to avoid fatigue
Gain More Insight with Customization Preferences
Email marketing platforms are getting smarter every day, and it’s pretty amazing what they can tell you about your audience. But there’s no replacement for actually having conversations with your customers and getting to know them. Since that can be tricky to scale, sending an email that asks for more information from customers is a great way to gain additional insight on what they are most interested in getting from you.
This strategy is great for you because you have even more opportunities to customize content that will be relevant to them. The reader likes this for several reasons: it creates trust, it makes them feel special, and it offers them some control of their inbox.
Questions to Ask:
- What is your name? (Only if you don’t have it already!)
- What is your birthday? (Be sure to follow up with a special offer on that day or month)
- What type of content do you want to receive?
- How often they want to hear from us?
Tips for customization emails:
- Keep it short and simple
- Increase conversion by offering a small incentive for their time
- Update & resend periodically (but not too often)
Keep Customers longer with Re-engagement Campaigns
Overtime, customers are likely to decrease the amount that they engage with your brand. They’ll open fewer and fewer emails until they unsubscribe or become completely dormant. And while this type of list churn is to be expected, and can even be healthy, it can cost up to 5 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one.
Re-engagement campaigns help marketers to be sure that potential repeat customers on their list stay engaged.
This type of campaign should also be a series, 1-4 emails that increasingly offer more of a value to the subscriber:
- Start with a ‘We Miss You’ message
- Follow up a couple weeks later with a big offer (40% off or Buy One, Get One Free). The goal here is to capture their attention, and truly, you don’t have much to lose at this point.
- Remind them of the special offer and the deadline one last time
- Send a final campaign that tells them they will be unsubscribed
Tips for re-engagement campaigns:
- Use an enticing subject line, WE MISS YOU (bonus points if you include their first name)
- Offer a generous discount
- Make it a limited time offer
- Ask them if they want to unsubscribe (or do it for them if they don’t respond to any of your attempts to engage them)
For more details on creating great re-engagement campaigns, check out this post.
In 2018, email automation and personalization are quite the buzz words, and for good reason. Today’s consumers expect to receive content that is relevant to them and when they do, they are more likely to take the desired action. (Automated emails generate 119% more click-throughs than broadcast campaigns). So set some time aside to assess your email marketing strategy and develop automated campaigns. You, and your customers will be glad you did.